I just a brief chat on Twitter with Guy Lodge, Clayton Davis, Ali Deniz Sensoz and a few others as to the Best Actress race. I can’t really write legitimately about it since I haven’t seen the performance that started the conversation. Guy asked whether or not Jennifer Lawrence from the Silver Linings Playbook was on tap to win this year.  I answered him that I thought that, yes, I thought from what I’d heard in Toronto so far that she probably has the best shot. Guy mentioned The Hunger Games being such a phenomenal success, and I added that she also has another potential money maker opening soon, the House at the End of the Street. She will end this year with The Silver Linings Playbook as her slam dunk.

Beautiful stratospheric Lawrence has been hot and getting hotter since she first burst onto the scene with Winter’s Bone. What makes her stand out is that she’s always the actress who gets the best reviews in almost everything she does, but especially The Beaver and Like Crazy.  She has almost every box checked heading into the season:

  • She’s getting rave reviews for The Silver Linings Playbook (think Helen Hunt in As Good as it Gets) and could be that film’s major win, if it doesn’t go all the way.
  • She’s maybe in the top ten of the most fuckable actresses in Hollywood – that will get her lots of votes amid the predominantly hetero white males in the Academy.
  • She’s backed by the Weinstein Co – how many Oscar wins have they had lately?
  • She is sexually loose in the movie – Oscar voters catnip.
  • Wrack ’em up – she Sandra Bullocked the box office with at least one movie this year, possibly two.
  • She’s always charming and smiling and does publicity — the kind of publicity that gets you awards. Who was at the HFPA thingy this year? Jennifer Lawrence. Who was in Toronto going to parties? Jennifer Lawrence.

So Guy is right on the money with that assessment, I’d say, though I’d really like to see the movie before making a bet on it.

Our conversation eventually turned to the two Sony Pics Classics performances – international, true, but nonetheless memorable – Marion Cotillard in Rust & Bone and Emmanuelle Riva in Amour. I’ve been getting a little shit for pushing Riva, with people saying it’s a long shot, etc. Guy had no such reservations and assured me she has a decent shot.  Cotillard seems also destined to, at least, be in the conversation for her tremendous performance – the second best of her career maybe – in Rust & Bone.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is such a powerfully affecting film that it’s hard to imagine Quvenzhane Wallis will be ignored.  I personally felt that Meryl Streep was just magnificent in Hope Springs, though since she’s just won she might get set on the backburner for now, in preparation for her upcoming work in Osage County.

Finally, new on the scene but someone who will do very well in some of the early critics awards, I gather, will be Greta Gerwig for Frances Ha.  She co-wrote the script, which will likely earn her a Screenplay nod but call me crazy if she doesn’t deserve serious recognition for her performance in Frances Ha.  In many ways, it’s the performance of the year — quietly and unnoticed.

Naomi Watts for The Impossible, Helen Hunt for The Sessions, Keira Knightley for Anna Karenina, I still think Ann Dowd’s shrewd, dark performance in Compliance ought to receive some awards attention somewhere.

Comedy always gets the short shrift come Oscar time – it always feels like a serious “man’s” game, but Jennifer Garner is worth a look in Butter and I’m guessing Leslie Mann might turn up something in This is Forty.

Therefore, if I had to rank them now, I’d go:

1) Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
2) Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
3) Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
4) Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
5) Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone
6) Meryl Streep, Hope Springs
7)  Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina
8) Naomi Watts, The Impossible
9) Ann Dowd, Compliance
10) Leslie Mann, This is Forty

This feels like a very sparse list.  I want there to be more contenders.  I hope there will be as we chug through the season but these are the ones currently on my radar.



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  • “This feels like a very sparse list.”

    Yeah, seems that way. Last year was stacked for leading women, though it sure blows that publicity drives an Oscars campaign. Lawrence is cool and talented but christ, she better get nommed for the performance and not for charming away a few journos and voters neck-deep in shrimp puffs. The Viola Davis-Meryl Streep race last year had so much more to do with politics and image than it did with the quality of the work and I doubt that paradigm’s going to shift anytime soon.

  • AD

    Sorry but it’s either Riva or Cotillard, two foreign movies and two foreign actresses is not going to go with AMPAS. I am for Riva because she is phenomenal and she is the older of the two, but I love Marion equally. I just think that your lineup has two many unknown. Regarding Streep I hope she doesn’t show up on this year’s list because that movie was so not good. I hope the let some more deserving spot open for someone else.

  • Mark

    I still have not seen Silver Linings Playbook, so I can’t comment on Lawrence’s performance. But I did see Rust and Bone, and Marion is SPECTACULAR in it. A truly magnificent performance! It will be completely ridiculous if she doesn’t get, at least, a nomination! And also, I saw The Sessions and Helen Hunt’s character is not lead, she’s definitely supporting!

  • this is certainly a possibility given that this year isn’t very strong for female performances… i think Lawrence, Riva, Cotillard etc can definitely get a nod.

  • Mark

    It’s true. Hope Springs was not a good film. I think Riva, Cotillard, Wallis, Lawrence are the best bets. Gerwig for Frances Ha, Keira Knightley, Naomi Watts for The Impossible and Winstead for Smashed (Beautiful performance) are very strong contenders also. And, I think Ann Dowd will go as supporting…

  • m1

    Isn’t Helen Hunt in contention for The Sessions? I think she’ll be nominated.

  • m1

    Oh, whoops. Saw the above comment and the article as well. Never mind.

  • PaulH

    In hindsight, the MTV Movie Awards will have gotten it right. Jennifer
    Lawrence, best actress, *The Hunger Games*. There’s no way, no how Silver Linings Playbook from the director of the I dont Heart Huckabees all-time rant, will be seen by as many people as THG. Its that black and white.

  • jorge

    exactly, its gonna be marion or emmanuelle sorry but thats a fact…

    i really think knightley will get in , but now i dont know if she is going to win,the girl of southern wild def is not winning…

    jennifer lawrence is too young to win now, she will but not now, helen hunt is supporting??? or leading??? marion or emanuelle arent winning anyway

    so my no guts no glory prediction is keira gettin a surprise sweep with critics and awards show, she is in the right age, biopic iconic role, not great but good reviews, controversial and big star actress so thats my guess

  • JP

    I don’t know about everyone here, but for me this looks a weird and weak year for Best Actress, following a year in which this was by far the most commented category. Cotillard won’t win number 2 in only 6 years for a film that won’t figure in the top contenders list. And I also think its either her or Riva for the nom. And they won’t award someone so young as Wallis. Knigjtley and Linney looked the most obvious bets, but the first one has really not captivated who has seen the film, who think it just a good turn, and the later doesn’t have strong scenes in her film. That leaves Lawrence and Watts as the most viable contenders. Watts is more overdue but Lawrence will have Harvey behind her and is the star of the moment. As something tells me Weinstein is not getting BP this season, I think his accomplishments will be in the acting categories. And its inevitable to think that Viola Davis and Michelle Williams would easily win this year. Close, Mara and even Swinton probably would too. As would Benning in 2010.

  • mark

    just gotta put her name in the talk. tiff screenings are definitely gonna boost up the buzz because she is amazing!

  • I don’t see two foreign actress getting nominated, it will stretching the limit for Academy but do have an option??. Meryl is definitely not going to get nominated. How many times ????? Keira had a very good chance before the movie played out but since its premeire it recieved mixed reviews , some even calling too hard for the Academy to digest, I don’t see her making top 5 either.
    Naomi might crack the top 5, depending on how Impossible is recieved.
    At present to me it looks like
    1) Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
    2) Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
    3) Naomi Watts, The Impossible
    4) Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
    5) Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone
    6) Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina

  • Joseph

    Caught most of these performances at TIFF. I kinda thought Lawrence could get away with supporting. And even though Hunt is campaigning supporting, I saw her more as a lead. We’ll see what Lawrence does. Cotillard is a lock too.

  • PaulH

    I’m sure there will be other contenders that will push out of towners Riva and Cotillard off the radar. Warners should push Hathaway in lead actress for TDKR, as she was filmdom’s best Catwoman. Whoever is pushed for Lincoln. Maybe someone who we don’t know about yet or overlooked due to an early release date.

    Lawrence, THG
    Hathaway, TDKR
    Field, Lincoln

  • Sorry but it’s either Riva or Cotillard, two foreign movies and two foreign actresses is not going to go with AMPAS.

    In hindsight, the MTV Movie Awards will have gotten it right. Jennifer
    Lawrence, best actress, *The Hunger Games*. There’s no way, no how Silver Linings Playbook from the director of the I dont Heart Huckabees all-time rant, will be seen by as many people as THG. Its that black and white.

    its gonna be marion or emmanuelle sorry but thats a fact…

    the girl of southern wild def is not winning…

    jennifer lawrence is too young to win now, she will but not now

    marion or emanuelle arent winning anyway

    Looks like the experts have spoken. Y’all ought to contact AMPAS and let them know about all this. Otherwise they might actually do what they want or something…

  • Brett

    Just out of curiosity, why isn’t Cotillard listed on your daily sidebar of potential BA nominees?

  • MORE!

    Cotillard won’t win number 2 in only 6 years for a film that won’t figure in the top contenders list.

    And they won’t award someone so young as Wallis.

    Meryl is definitely not going to get nominated.

    Cotillard is a lock too.

    thx guys, I’ll make sure to remember all this.

  • Dennis

    In hindsight, the MTV Movie Awards will have gotten it right. Jennifer
    Lawrence, best actress, *The Hunger Games*. There’s no way, no how Silver Linings Playbook from the director of the I dont Heart Huckabees all-time rant, will be seen by as many people as THG. Its that black and white.

    What does this have to do with ANYTHING?

  • Bryce Forestieri

    Kiera Knightley?!?!?! pshh lol nikka please

  • steve50

    “the girl of southern wild def is not winning…”

    Q-u-v-e-n-z-h-a-n-e Wallis. Remember it because you’re going to hear it a lot in the next 4-5 months.

    “jennifer lawrence is too young to win now”

    Reverse ageism – on AD, of all places!

    Paddym, you summed up the feeding frenzy nicely, I thought.

  • VVS

    she wont be nominated. This film is just Love and Other Drugs part 2

  • Ellsworth

    Any hope for Maggie Smith in Quartet?

  • You didn’t say anything about Anne Hathaway. Are you trying to kill Stephen Holt?

  • m

    Watts (or Davis)
    and Kidman.

    All of you should remember about her in “The paperboy” (rather in leading category). Even if it’s not traditional oscar-worthy performance.

  • Iktriad

    If Jennifer Lawrence will win “Best Actress” at the age of 22, sky is the limit for her. She has all the tools – she’s likeable, she can act, looks good( I still laugh at the “fuckable” factor – love the term, but it’s sad a bit at the same time…). Made good film choices so far.
    I wonder if there will be any another actress in the mix late(Hathaway maybe for Les Mis and/or TDKR)?

  • Mattoc

    I can argue with your frontrunners right now. I may add Michelle Williams for Take This Waltz and Michelle Yeoh of all the films released thus far. Sarandon has been busy this year, and so has Adams and Gerwig, so there may be some bracket creep into lead category if things don’t pick up. I hope Riva gets a nom.

  • Justine

    A lot of people were predicting Keira Knightley to win in 2013 but I don’t see that happening since she’s not getting any buzz for Anna Karenina. So far the consensus is that Keira has given better performances before. AK is not her best work. One friend who saw Silver Linings had nothing but praise for Jennifer Lawrence and said she might end up winning. I will have to watch the movie myself to decide that. From TIFF buzz and word of mouth so far, Jennifer Lawrence and Marion Cotillard are top contenders for best actress. If Lawrence wins at 22, this might take her career to a whole new level.

  • JJ

    From what I’ve been hearing, Jennifer Lawrence totally has, at least, a nomination in the bag. As for winning, I doubt that because she’s too young. Say what you will, the Academy is NOT going to give her the Oscar over Marion Cotillard, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Michelle Willaims, and etc. Competition seems tough this year but Lawrence has been the talk of TIFF.

  • Tye-Grr

    I agree with the poster who mentioned Mary Elizabeth Winstead in ‘Smashed’. She’s getting EXCELLENT reviews, and this is a weak year, so she could sneak in with passionate support ala Demian Bichir last year.

    Paul, buddy, most watched doesn’t equal best. Sorry. I think Lawrence is wonderful in ‘The Hunger games’, but if she’s better in ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’, then she deserves all the accolades for that one. Also, Hathaway is CLEARLY supporting in ‘TDKR’. It’s not even up for debate, the way I see it.

  • phantom

    There are already several serious players in the mix like

    Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) whose film has to survive the curse of the early release date to register in main categories including Best Actress
    Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina) whose film seems very divisive therefore in November, needs excellent US-reviews and a well-received Academy screening grabbing that crucial 5% to stay in the race
    Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) whose campaigners have to make a quick decision to avoid category confusion
    Helen Hunt (The Sessions), ditto
    Naomi Watts (The Impossible) whose film has to resonate with voters AND the audience…I have a feeling this one has a shot at becoming the family drama/BO-sleeper hit of the Holiday Season…if that happens, she could WIN
    Meryl Streep (Hope Springs) who faces early release date, comedy prejudice, and the backlash of her recent victory
    Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) whose biggest obstacle is the beautiful Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, ALSO excelling a lead role in a foreign language…highly unlikely the Academy would nominate two of those, and Cotillard seems to have the better shot for now
    Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair) has the ‘it girl’ factor and her role/film is definitely very Academy-friendly, but just like Riva, she will probably lose the nod to Cotillard
    Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone) who has been doing steady work since her Oscar win, so the Academy might realize it is about damn time to nominate her again

    AND the few who are gaining buzz at the moment

    Maggie Smith (Quartet) who deserves infinite praise for staying relevant in this business after DECADES, still winning awards for her excellent TV work (Downton Abbey), stealing every scene she is in in international sleeper hits (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) AND receiving raves for another crowdpleaser, Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet
    Julianne Moore (What Maisie Knew) who could go supporting easily, but whatever happens, as always, she seemed to excel yet another difficult role
    Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha) whose film might be too ‘indie’ for the Academy, but quickly becoming the new ‘Indie Queen’ shouldn’t be a bad consolation prize, either.
    Elle Fanning (Ginger and Rosa), after her excellent, star-making turn last year in Super 8, once again she is receiving rave reviews.

    NOT to mention unseen contenders with great potential

    Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) is bound to be on that stage sooner or later, so a consecutive nomination, this time in the lead category, could be a logical stop on that path.
    Sally Field (Lincoln), she will probably go supporting and if she does, she will be a serious threat for the win, too
    Viola Davis & Maggie Gyllenhaal (Won’t Back Down), former must have a lot of love from last year, so she should be at least considered. Problem is, her film NEEDS to be at least decent…
    Amy Adams (Trouble with the Curve) is a leading lady, yet she has 3 (!) nominations in supporting and the fact that she is up for her 4th this year will probably prevent her first lead nod even if she nails ‘Trouble with the Curve
    Vanessa Redgrave (Song for Marion) will probably go supporting with this remarkably likeable, Academy-friendly role
    Holliday Grainger (Great Expectations) could be THE relevation this year

    My guess for the Best Actress top5 is Cotillard, Knightley, Wallis, Watts and Lawrence, with Chastain, Moore, Davis close behind, and Hunt, Redgrave, Gyllenhaal, Field, Grainger ending up in the supporting race, with only Hunt and Field making the top5, accompanied by Amy Adams (The Master), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) and Helena Bonham Carter (Great Expectations), although I wouldn’t count out
    Jackie Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) backed by the Weinsteins
    Olivia Wilde (Butter), ditto
    Reese Witherspoon (Mud) who got raves in Cannes
    Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina) who got raves in Toronto
    Samantha Barks & Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables) playing iconic roles
    Kerry Washington (Django Unchained) who paid her dues and might be in a strong bp-contender
    Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy) who got raves in Cannes
    Winona Ryder (The Iceman) who got raves in Venice

    Also, Fox Searchlight is apparently flirting with the idea of releasing ‘Hitchcock’ this year, a decision will be made in the next two weeks. IF they do, we’ll have Helen Mirren in lead and Scarlett Johansson in supporting…latter playing an iconic character, still enjoying the post-Avengers buzz, AND with a Volpi Cup, BAFTA, Tony award AND 4 Golden Globe nominations under her belt, already considered overdue for her first Oscar (nomination).

    By the way, clearly ‘No Guts, No Glory’ material, but am I the only one who thinks Rebel Wilson MIGHT have a shot at a supporting nod for ‘Pitch Perfect’ ?

  • Mikky

    I think we should remember how a best actress win an oscar. By making us believe what we see is true, pure, real. At that game Marion Cotillard and Emmanuelle Riva are simply astonishing in their respective role. If we really compare THE PERFORMANCES it’s obvious that Hataway doesn’t match Cotillard or Riva whatever “how good” catwoman was.

  • Cyrus


    I have loved this woman since her performance in Hiroshima Mon Amour. It would be a dream to see her nominated!

  • Craig Z

    My predictions are…..


  • phantom


    Thanks for the clip, ‘Smashed’ has a screening near me next week, now I’m definitely checking it out. Mary Elizabeth Winstead looks amazing in this scene, it’s a lovely surprise, I didn’t think she had it in her, then again I’ve only seen her in ‘Die Hard 4’ and ‘Final Destination 3’.


    If Hathaway’s people are smart, they will campaign her in lead for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ even though based on her screentime, she should be definitely supporting…they probably won’t risk split votes and her role in ‘Les Miserables’ IS really supporting, meanwhile they can spin ‘Catwoman’ as the FEMALE lead.

  • ChrisFlick

    How about Maggie Gyllenhall, is that movie not building any buzz for she and Viola Davis? Trailer screams ‘vehicle’ but actually also looks like a good box office movie. Seems if it is one that takes off then they might land in the top five of their categories. (Not going there.) Popular figures with the Academy, both.

  • GoldenG

    “Mikky” you are totally right about the fact that Marion and Emmanuelle give the two towering performances of the year so far.

    Oh and It’s not a weak year because only three actress gave an oscar-caliber performance (Cotillard +Riva +Hunt). You let people think their performances are weaker than last year, which is 100% WRONG!

  • Filipe

    There has to be some more immediate contenders. If not, I’m quite certain that Meryl will be nominated AGAIN. Most of these films some people are bringing up won’t even be seen by most AMPAS members, and so they’ll fill their ballots with someone they know can do no wrong: Meryl!

  • kasper

    Marion has (a wasted) role in Dark Knight Rises to help he with the push since it made a buckload, she’s won before… but wow it’s crazy to think after how many years after Hiroshima Mon Amour, that Emanuelle Riva is the conversation about Oscar! That’s so incredible. I just saw Hope Springs with my mom and I was surprised it was pretty dramatic, more so than the trailer lets on, so Meryl could get in there. I wish Leslie Mann could get in, but Apatow doesn’t have a good track record for Oscars, even with his weightier endeavors.

  • Mikky

    “Filipe” You forget academy voter LOVE cinema! For Marion she as already been nominated (and won), the same her director J.Audiard. that’s just an example of your stupidity! 95% of the academy members watch all the movie in competion. People telling you the contrary lied.

  • tim

    Isn’t everyone forgetting the obvious? Viola Davis in Won’t Back Down?
    Subject current and relevant — the public school system, and make-up for last year? And she’s undoubtedly going to be great in it, as she is in everything.

  • JP

    @ Paddy M

    Of course they do whatever they want. And considering I’m not a voter or a campaigner, there’s nothing I can do about their preferences. I may be mistaken but the aim of all the awards fans here is to try to predict and discuss the outcome of the awards. Not to tell what AMPAS should/ not do. Otherwise, the discussions here have no purposes.

  • Felipe

    I think Marion Cotillard is the actress with the best performance this year. But Naomi Watts deserves the Oscar too, so I hope Marion and Naomi be nominated and one of them win the Oscar.
    But please don’t give it to Jennifer Lawrence, her role isn’t the leading in the film (SLP), the film is indie and a comedy. She has 22 years old and her role is not iconic, one possible Oscar for her shall be very unpopular around the world because surely the people waiting to see wining other actresses like Naomi Watts, Marion Cotillard or Maggie Smith. Please don’t give the Oscar to Jennifer Lawrence.

  • Jake G!!!

    Weak Best Actress year! Wallis wont be nominated. Meryl will get in because of the weak field, I’m seeing:
    Merly Streep – Hope Springs
    Helen Hunt – The Sessions
    Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone
    Riva – Amour
    Kiera Knightley – Anna Karenina
    I really want Dowd to get in for Compliance.
    I dont think Lawrence will get in, Hathaway got raves and was the frontrunner for Love and Other Drugs, and they ignored that amazing performance which I think should have won.

  • I’m really excited for Frances Ha. Gerwig has had a great year between Damsels in Distress, Lola Versus, and To Rome With Love. Even if the films themselves weren’t that well received, she turned in great work in all three, especially Damsels. She’s one of my new favorites.

    Also, hoping Michelle Williams can make it into the conversation for Take This Waltz. I think it may be her strongest work to date.

  • Mikky

    “Jake G!!! Weak Best Actress year!”
    “Hathaway got raves and was the frontrunner for Love and Other Drugs, and they ignored that amazing performance which I think should have won.”
    Seriously? I don’t know in which world Hathaway was “praised”. She only got a nomination for a golden globe (and lost). That doesn’t make her “Praised” by critics and it was actually pretty bad received. Don’t try to exaggerate only because you liked her.

  • Ryan

    1) Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
    2) Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
    3) Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings
    4) Emanuelle Riva, Amour
    5) Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina

    6) Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Smashed
    7) Maggie Smith, Quartet
    8) Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
    9) Michelle Williams, Take This Waltz
    10) Naomi Watts, The Impossible

    Also worth mentioning: Melissa Leo, Francine and Viola Davis, Won’t Back Down

  • Jake G!!!

    Mikky: dude I remember before the movie came out, some critics were saying that she could win, and all the people that saw it before it came out raved about her! And one of these movie sites wrote an article at about this time saying she could win. And yes I do love her, I think she should win supporting for The Dark Knight Rises.

  • Wow, if Lawrence wins this year, talk about a short run on the path to success. Good God, Kate Winslet put in 14 years before Oscar went, okay, you can have one. Don’t get me wrong. I *love* Lawrence, she is super talented, but … how about cultivating a body of work. No? Seems like this might be an off-year for Oscar to play catch-up with snubs from the past. But, then, is there anyone competitively in the docket. Wouldn’t a better comparison for her performance be Charlize Theron Young Adult mixed with Helen Hunt As Good As It Didn’t Get. If she does a bang-up job, I will be happy for her, none-the-less. It’s just, whoa, so much, so soon. I sound like a bitch.

  • Ryan

    Elle Fanning for Ginger & Rosa ??

  • Phantom >> You have quite a list. Should it not include Laura Linney and Pauline Collins Quartet?

  • Streep actually earned a nomination this year with Hope Springs. Nuanced performance with solid reviews and receipts. But, no affectation. Completely natural performance. Yeah, but, no, she won last year. And, with 17 nods, now, having beat the record YEARS ago, are the AMPAS going to be more prudent with how many nominations they throw her way going forward? Just curious. Her record is just going to becoming less and less attainable. No that it matters.

  • g

    Rust and Bone was wonderful, and I agree it is Marion’s 2nd best performance ever, so I think she deserves a nomination for sure, she was so beautiful and nice in person! What a thrill!

    Fellow tiff travelers in my group saw Frances Ha and loved it saying how good Greta was…

    My friend saw Amour and said Riva was amazing, oh man if only I had 3 clones of myself I could of been in 4 places at once on Saturday!

    The people I met in line said Keira wasn’t that great in Anna Karenina..

    I loved Wallis from Beasts, she was so great!

  • If I’ve learned anything this year from the Best Actress race is that my prognosticating powers are weak.

  • PaulH

    Olivia Wilde isnt lead in Butter, Jennifer Garner is.

    And with that, my Best Actress lineup is complete:
    Lawrence (The Hunger Games)
    Hathaway (Dark Knight Rises)

    Sorry, Riva and Cotillard; you’ll have to merely settle for your respective films getting FL slots.

  • phantom


    I think Pauline Collins will be overshadowed by Maggie Smith, and ‘Hyde Park on the Hudson’ reviews tend to emphasize that Linney does a good job, but she doesn’t have much to work with therefore Murray steals the show. I left off Mary Elizabeth Winstead because I simply wasn’t aware of her film until now, and Michelle Williams, simply because I am an idiot, I completely forgot one of the strongest female performances of 2012. Having said that, I don’t think she could go 3 for 3, this will be like ‘Wendy & Lucy’…brilliant lead turn that enriches her body of work, but too small for mainstream recognition.

    By the way, I don’t think Jennifer Lawrence will win. Granted, she has a brilliant post-breakthrough career with two well-received franchises and several critically acclaimed indie performances, but she is too young and I’m already reading ‘complaints’ that she is more supporting than lead, but she will clearly be campaigned in latter because A) Weinstein already has Amy Adams and no strong lead actress contender B) he knows Lawrence could pull off the lead nod post-THG in a potential bp-nominee.

    I think, when all is said and done, Naomi Watts will win lead and Anne Hathaway supporting.

    Also, I do believe Knightley shouldn’t be written off, her performance IS getting love and it IS an iconic turn, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Jessica Chastain emerged as a last minute frontrunner, either, and as generic as her film looks, for now at least, I wouldn’t underestimate last year’s runner-up, Viola Davis, either. Even though I do see Cotillard receiving her second Best Actress nomination this year, I don’t think she could come close to winning a second, if she ever pulls that off, that will be probably for a Best Picture nominee preferably in English language.

  • Jerm

    LOL at the guy who thought Anne deserved to win for Love and Other Drugs!

    My top four, PREDICTING BLINDLY like most people, would be
    1. Watts
    2. Knightly
    3. Lawrence
    4. Cotillard
    I dont know who would be the 5th spot. I think it would be a fight between Linney, Meryl, and Viola.

    This category I think will be my least favorite this year, which it generally is my favorite. I think the leading woman are being over shadowed by the impressive supporting woman.

  • Cinelover

    My best actress of the year so far is Marion Cotillard. Honestly their is no confusion in my head about that. Having seen “Argo”, “Rust & Bone”, “Anna Kararina”, “Hyde park on hudson”, “Frances Ha”, “The Master”, “Amour/Love”, “Paperboy”, “To the wonder”, “Looper” and a few others i swear since it’s Cannes opening she is under my skin. She simply radiate on screen owning every scene she’s in. Stunningly and without any makeup, she acts in rude sex scenes, takes your breath away without saying words and perform the best hospital/wake-up/no-legs of all time ! (I’ve said it) That’s a performance that should be recognized! Not only because she is incredible as an amputee but because it’s also gonna send a message to young actresses on what kind of role should they really be interested in. Marion really act brilliantly in “Rust and Bone”

  • Joseph

    Naomi Watts will not win. Other actresses have more material.

  • Craig Z

    “Lawrence, she is super talented, but … how about cultivating a body of work”

    I could have sworn it was called the Academyaward for Best Performance not Best Career.

  • Mel

    Streep actually earned a nomination this year with Hope Springs.

    I think she earns a nomination in most everything she does. The only question each year is if there were enough performances by other people that surprised enough to keep her out of it.

    I love Jennifer Lawrence and she was actually, in my mind, the Best Actress the year she was nominated for Winter’s Bone. But I almost have a weird feeling she is so popular in this new movie b/c she is young and hot and according to someone she plays “sexually loose” in this movie and it’s just giving reviewers boners. She’s full of charisma…loaded.

  • Eoin Daly

    For all those Anne Hathaway fans do you know who was the original to play Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook was Hathaway but she dropped out to Dark Knight Rises so Anne could have been double nominated this year. Watts will not win her film is getting horrible reviews out of Toronto and People say she is nothing special compared to the reaction Lawrence is getting which seems the be her best ever, Marion is getting even better then Lawrence but has already won, Wallis got great word, Streep got better reviews then Watts and critics like her film better. I think we have four nominees set Lawrence, Wallis, Smith and Cotillard with the fifth slot going to Chastain, because she will be an academy favourite I’m predicted, at the moment it’s Lawrence but if Chastain gets a great role in Zero Dark Thirty watch out with her winning. I repeat WATTS IS NOT WINNING for a film that is getting D and E grades will Silver Linings Playbook is getting A and B grades with Lawrence gettinf stellar reviews.

  • The Great Dane

    For Lawrence to win, Playbook HAS to be a big hit. They won’t give a lead Oscar to someone for a comedy/dramedy performance, if it’s not from a hit film.’

    But ONE THING speaks against Lawrence: She looks too good/natural and contemporary in the film.

    Think about it. Whenever a young actress wins Best Actress, it’s ALWAYS for a performances that required de-glam or a psysical transformation or costumes or playing a reallife person.

    The last time a young actress won Best Actress for playing a contemporary, fictional character with no disability, costumes or de-glam was Diane Keaton in Annie Hall 35 years ago. If Playbook hits 100 million at the box-office, it’s possible. But Annie Hall also won Best Picture. Playbook has to end up being a VERY big player to carry Lawrence to the big win, especially since it’s actually more of a supporting performance from what I can read in all the reviews. It’s not a co-lead, it’s the love interest of the lead.

  • Seth

    Situation reminds me of Renee Zellweger, the Academy took a while to come around to award her and once they did it was for best supporting actress, not best actress. Ignored by the academy for the massively popular Jerry Maquire (a rom com like Silver Lining Playbook, Cruise and Gooding Jr. both nominated) she then had noms for best actress for both Bridget Jones and Chicago but lost and finally won for supporting in Cold Mountain. Something tells me Lawrence will win but not yet.

  • sunny

    Eoin Daly, I think you meant Angelina jolie. Jen herself admitted she was picking up Jolie’s left-overs( Serena,too).

    Vulture chats with David O. Russell
    By: Carrie Battan
    6/14/11 at 5:00 PM

    Russell is prepping The Silver Lining Playbook, which will reteam him with his The Fighter star Mark Wahlberg. It’s been rumored that Russell is courting Angelina Jolie for the female lead, and Russell admitted, “You know, Angelina would really be awesome. I think Angelina would love to be in it, but I don’t know if that’ll happen because of some conflicts in scheduling and other stuff. But I love her and I’ve loved talking to her about several projects … I think that she’s a loaded weapon and ready to be deployed.”

  • “I could have sworn it was called the Academyaward for Best Performance not Best Career.” That’s the literal interpretation.

  • GoOnNow

    I want to see Maggie Smith with a Leading Actress nomination and I’ll be fine with whoever wins (I think) LOL

    I do think Keira Knightley is a very strong front runner despite the mixed reviews Anna Karenina is receiving so far.

    And yes, we need to acknowledge the truth. Jennifer Lawrence has almost all that is needed to win, so if she does, well… no surprises there.

    I love how mysterious this year has been.

    Last year I had 4 of the 5 Leading Actress Oscar nominees guessed at the end of March 2011 so now I’m enjoying the mists surrounding the mountain.

  • enotS ahsaS

    Hey Sasha isn’t Frances Ha coming out in 2013?

  • John

    Early prediction:

    This is the Academy, people:

    Lawrence – Harvey
    Wallis – buzz
    Watts – buzz, emotional
    Knightley – time for another nom
    Cotillard/Riva – one, not both

    Could get in, but I’m not seeing it right now:

    Chastain – yet to be seen
    Streep – just won, no Harvey
    Kidman – God only knows

  • amok

    I would have nominated Lawrence for the Hunger Games. Snobs will roll their eyes at this, but it was a very powerful performance with some tough source material that takes place to a large extent within the main heroine’s head. Her capacity for conveying emotion non-verbally is pretty remarkable; it allowed Gary Ross to avoid a clunky narration. And she carried it. Put it this way: for every Russell Crowe in Gladiator there is a Colin Farrel in Alexander who doesn’t have the screen presence. Just as long as Lawrence is nominated for something this year.
    I don’t think Wallis should be nominated at all. Two reasons. First she did no acting, something she fully admits. It was all improv and techniques from the director. (Think Carol Reed’s Fallen Idol). Other actors have to learn lines adopt new mannerisms and accents and get into the head of another person, but Wallis didn’t. Second, she is way too young. I think a nomination is reckless. I keep thinking of Whale Rider where the actress was older. Let her be a kid.
    I like Cotillard but her role is the epitome of cheap heat with the young woman tragically confined to a wheelchair cliche. It’s a paint by numbers role, and it’s frankly annoying that best actress so often plays to this formula: physical uglification; tragic disability, etc. Plus she already won one.
    Finally, for God’s sake can we stop nominating Streep every time she passes wind. Make her and Jack Nicholson Oscar emeriti so the academy voters can be rescued from their obsessive need to nominate them for everything.

  • Sonja

    Not that I really think Meryl will be nominated (because the role seems so unbaity), only a fool would bet against her completely. Yes, she does not have Harvey this time at her side (but next year again!), but she was nominated without him before and she will be.
    Hope Springs is certified “fresh” on RT with 73%, the film’s audience IS the majority of the Academy members age.
    She won’t pull a back to back win á la Hepburn for sure with that role, but for a nom don’t forget the best argument of them all: she’s MERYL STREEP.

    But all in all… Yes, she just won (finally and deservingly so imo) and the Academy might take a break before she teams up with Harvey and comes back full forche of August:Osage County.

    As for J-Law… I don’t mind it. Though a win for comedy is still hard these days. But it seems the drama category for actresses is quite “weak” this year, with only a nine years old girl as a good bet (not safe. I still can see Academy members being concerned of that young age in a leading category. I could of course be wrong).

  • steve50

    The “too young/no body of work” argument does not hold water, imo. At the age of 25 – or younger- the following had already won a Best Actress Oscar: Marlee Matlin, Janet Gaynor, Joan Fontaine, Audrey Hepburn, Jennifer Jones, Julie Christie, Grace Kelly and Hilary Swank. Not one of them had a body of work behind her nor (and I haven’t checked this) do I think they had a previous nomination. Neither did they have the obvious BO clout that Lawrence obviously has now.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    I was certain that Streep will not get in this time, but apparently it’s a possibility due to a weak line-up of Actresses. For the very same reason, two foreign names could get in, too. Maybe…

    COTILLARD (Foreign 1)
    LAWRENCE (Young)
    RIVA (Foreign 2)
    STREEP (or SMITH) (Academy age)
    WALLIS (Very young)

    From above, Lawrence would win.

  • I love Lawrence, and would love to see her win. I want to see the performance before really weighing in, but my initial instinct is that it may be too soon? A nomination sure, but will they make her wait a bit longer to win? That being said, none of the other talked about performances feel like winners to me. I think I just changed my mind.

  • @ Cinesnatch: I’d be surprised if we see Streep slow down on Oscar nominations(as long as the scripts are there). Yeah, she probably earned a nom this year with a more subdued performance but there are other factors already listed above against her so my guess is she’s fall anywhere around 5th-7th in the order. After all, although she broken the record for nominations long ago, she’s still two WINS away from breaking the record for most Oscars.

  • Robin

    I agree Steve, I’m not sure where the “too young” issue is coming from seeing as the Academy generally likes them young and “fuckable” in this category. She’s no newcomer, she’s a previous nominee and one of the biggest names around this year with a super franchise on her back, a possible second BO hit coming soon, and a number of high profile awards bait projects on the horizon. She’s in a better position career wise than older actresses like Berry and Paltrow were in when they won on their first nomination, let alone then-unknown actresses like Matlin and Swank (99).

    She’s also the only legitimate winner in the field right now, so even if she’s not ideal (and I think she pretty much is) I don’t see who’s beating her?

  • Ryan

    The Impossible is getting TERRIBLE reviews! Don’t think Naomi Watts can get in. Maybe next year playing Diana.
    I LOVE Meryl Streep but Hope Springs was not a good film. Think that other actresses deserves to get some more attention.
    For now, it’s Cotillard/Lawrence/Wallis/Knightley/Riva.
    There’s no word yet on when Frances Ha will be released. But if released this year, I can definitely see Gerwig getting in. Also, Maggie Smith in Quartet is a another performance that can go very well with voters. Michelle Williams in Take This Waltz is definitely one of her best work, but I don’t know if Magnolia will campaign hard for the pic. Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Smashed got rave reviews on Sundance this year, Sony Pictures Classics will definitely put on a good campaign. Melissa Leo in Francine, great talk. And, yet to be seen, Viola Davis in Won’t Back Down. Don’t think Chastain’s role in Zero Dark Thirty is gonna get her in…

  • Jason B

    After seeing Anna Karenina, Keira Knightley will definitely be nominated. She doesn’t deliver anything exceptionally different than her past performances under Joe Wright’s guidance, but he always brings out her best.

    I also think that any best actress list needs should begin considering Olga Kurylenko in TO THE WONDER. She steals the entire show, although Rachel MacAdams gives a powerful, but brief performance. Olga, however, is a fire cracker and lights up the screen.

  • Casey

    ANN DOWD!!!

  • tipsy

    Lawrence is getting the strongest raves of them all. That doesn`t mena she`ll win but obviously critics who saw her and her compeition think she`s the best. I`d love her to win but my perosnal desire is a win for Mockingjay Pt 2 – for Katniss role that she`ll be playing in 4 movies. It`s a ctually quite a baity role especially in the last book 92 movies).

  • tipsy

    Meant 2 movies not 92. Where`s Edit bitton when I need one? 🙂

  • Jo

    To be honest for the first time in my life my top four are foreign actresses! That pisses me off but i must be honest

    1- Marion Cotillard. She is just incredible, her quality of acting is at her pic, i swear you must see it for understand. It’s like ” La vie en rose” you have to see it + “Rust and Bone” is much better! Breathtaking performance sometimes without even a word.

    2-Emmanuelle Riva. Just awesome, perfect in every aspect but just less material to work with (No sex scene, big crying thing) but still beautiful. + “Amour” is an accomplished movie.

    3-Olga Kurylenko. She totally steals the show in “To the wonder”, just unbelievable! Now i understand why she as more screen-time than B.Affleck who seemed lost in it! (I still really like him but he wasn’t really good)

    4- Kiera Knightley. She is pretty good in “Anna Kararina”, enough to be an oscar contender but not really win compare to what Cotillard and Riva deliver.

  • amik

    Just to follow-up on something, a perfect anaology for Wallis was Bobby Henrey from Fallen Idol. Like Wallis, Henrey was 8/9 when the movie filmed. Henrey did not know the first thing about acting but the director was able to manipulate a performance through tricks and coaxing. But Henrey did absolutely no acting, and Reed made it clear that Henrey had no clue.
    This is exactly what you have with Wallis. The little girl did no acting. Like Reed in Fallen Idol, the director was able to manipulate a performance by techniques such as filming Wallis without her knowledge. Explain to me how this is acting, or how the industry’s highest honor for the craft of acting should be bestowed on a non-actor who had to do none of the things that legitimate actors do? The credit for everything we see from Wallis on screen goes to the director just as the credit for everything we saw from Henrey went to Reed.
    Not only do I think that even thinking of nominating Wallis is untenable, I also think it is transparent pandering. Let’s face it, but the issue of race is part of the equation. But the irony is that this is merely tokenism where a little girl is being used as a political prop. In this sense the analogy to Whale Rider is evident (I wonder how all the supposed do-gooders feel about that nomination in retrospect?). If she is any good Wallis will have the opportunity to truly earn a nomination in the future.

  • Cinelover

    I agree with you, this year a foreign actress should get the statue. I think The french actresses are quiet amazing this year and notably Marion Cotillard and E. Riva. When you really think about it, the french in general reveal their talents for a few years now. I think they are smart enough for not making shitty movies and always choose with precaution their next project. You will never see Marion Cotillard, Melanie Laurent or Catherine Deneuve in a poor/awful blockbuster a la “John Carter” or “Battleship”

  • Tye-Grr

    What reviews are y’all reading of ‘The Impossible’? The reviews from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter were both excellent, and both said Watts and the young Tom Holland are tremendous, though the biggest thing going against Watts is that she spends half the film or so bedridden and thus Holland is the film’s true lead. Either way, the film and director J.A. Bayona (and the film’s performances) are getting strong reviews from what I’ve read.

  • phantom

    Yes, I would love to see those horrible reviews, too. Granted, I only read the ones from THR and Variety, but based on those, this could be the kind of emotional tearjerker the Academy tends to fall in love with.

  • eric

    Barbra in The Guilt Trip?

  • The Great Dane

    You cannot say that Matlin and Swank are two reasons why Lawrence COULD win. Both of their performances were in heavy dramas, Matlin was a deaf mute and Swank played a transgender. That’s heavy (and original). So I say it again: No young actress has won for a contemporary performance without deglamming or having physical transformation since Annie Hall 35 years ago. Every young fuckable Best Actess winner since then has deglammed, been in costumes, altered their body/appearance, had a disability or played a real person. Helen Hunt comes the closets to Lawrence’s genre/performance, but that was also sort-of de-glam/single mother, and she had a huge career behind her on television AND she was in one of the Best Picture frontrunners. That’s why I say that Playbook HAS to be a big contender for the big price, otherwise Lawrence can’t ride the wave to a win – especially since, as I said, her role is not the true lead of the film.

  • tipsy

    “Lawrence can’t ride the wave to a win – especially since, as I said, her role is not the true lead of the film.”

    Jl is the future of movies. I`d rather have her not win for a category fraud in a weak year (cause that`d be pointed out forever). I want my favorites to win for iconic roles that no one can dispute as make-up Oscar or category fraud Oscar or whatever.

  • Aaron

    I don’t understand what “terrible” reviews people are reading about The Impossible…I’ve only heard positive things and people have been complimenting Naomi Watts’s performance. I think she’s definitely in the conversation, although I do worry, like someone mentioned earlier, that the fact that she is so “bedridden” and physically confined throughout much of the film may hinder her chances (The Academy likes to see actors “sweating” to get their Oscars).

    From what has already been released this year, I would say that Quvenzhane Wallis and Meryl Streep have the best chances for a nomination this year. Judi Dench was good in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but are they really going to blindly vote for her when there are better performances on the horizon? I really REALLY hope that Michelle Williams comes back to the conversation for her remarkable performance in Take this Waltz. She’s one of the most exciting actresses working today and this performance ranks up there with Wendy and Lucy and Blue Valentine…

    Judging by how weak this year is for best actress, I can see both Cotillard and Riva making it in by the strength of their performances. If it’s one or the other, it’s definitely going to be Cotillard and she may just win.

    It’s interesting that Keira Knightley has emerged as the most divisive actress of her generation, so I really have no idea what to expect regarding a potential nomination. The Academy passed on her in The Duchess, A Dangerous Method, and Atonement (which she was robbed, in my opinion), but the fact that she is playing one of the most iconic female roles of all time will definitely give this role a higher profile than her previous efforts.

    The Academy hates Nicole Kidman when she’s in auteur mode, so there is just no way she’s getting in for The Paperboy, which is sad…

    Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal are yet to be seen, but are they both co-leads or is one supporting? And I worry about the quality of the film, as the trailer was quite sappy…

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Greta Gerwig may just be too “indie” for the Academy and I’m not even sure Frances Ha has gotten distribution yet…has it? And will it even be released this year? And the praise for Hyde Park on Hudson has generally been muted, so I think Laura Linney is out…

    …which leads to Jennifer Lawrence, who has starred in one of the biggest movie hits of the year and is destined to see breathless raves once The Silver Linings Playbook releases in November. No, it’s not a deglam role or a costume drama or she doesn’t have a physical disability, but will that really matter when she’s the talk of the town and giving a critically-acclaimed performance? I don’t think so, and I think she may be the one to beat this year.

    If I were to bet now, I’d rank:
    1. Lawrence
    2. Cotillard
    3. Wallis
    4. Watts
    5. Knightley (but she could easily be usurped by Emmanuelle Riva)

    On a side note, I think John Hawkes will sweep best actor this year.

  • kaufman

    So if I’m reading some of the comments correctly, a young woman can only win a best actress Oscar if she plays a cripple, or is uglified, or plays in the standard biopic. But of course this does not apply to male actors. Sounds really sexist to me.

  • Jason B


    I love Marion, too. Hopefully she won’t be docked points for the worst death scene ever in Dark Knight Rises.

  • Nik Grape

    After seeing Rust and Bone, Amour, Yellow and The Impossible recently I would say that Emmanuel Riva blows everyone out of the water as far as Best Actress is concerned. I doubt she will even get nominated though.

    Cotillard was truly amazing in Rust and Bone, a raw physical and visceral performance, she is wonderful to watch and deserves to win if Riva is not in the picture.

    Heather Wilhquest’s performance in Yellow will be overlooked because the film will be a hard sell, destined for cult status, but she was absolutely fantastic in Yellow (as good as Theron in Young Adult from last year, another overlooked performance) and if there was any justice in Hollywood, she would be a shoe in nominee.

    And lastly, Watts. She is fantastic, a worthy nominee no doubt, but in my humble opinion she gets outclassed by her co star Ewan McGreggor who handles one of the most emotional scenes I’ve seen in recent memory like a champion and the first-class actor he is. It will be a complete shame if the marketing for this movie turns all focus on Watts, (who I will repeat is undeniably excellent) because there’s McGreggor and even Tom Holland for Supporting to consider.

    Still have to see Silver Linings Playbook to judge all the fuss about Lawrence, still didn’t see Hope Springs but I honestly doubt Streep (she will always be good, this is no surprise) will get a nomination this year after having just won and headed for Osage County next year.

  • Robert A.

    “The “too young/no body of work” argument does not hold water, imo. At the age of 25 – or younger- the following had already won a Best Actress Oscar: Marlee Matlin, Janet Gaynor, Joan Fontaine, Audrey Hepburn, Jennifer Jones, Julie Christie, Grace Kelly and Hilary Swank. Not one of them had a body of work behind her nor (and I haven’t checked this) do I think they had a previous nomination.”

    I’m enough of an Oscar nerd to know the answer to this without doing research. Joan Fontaine had a previous Best Actress nomination for Rebecca the year before she won for Suspicion. Grace Kelly had a supporting actress nomination for Mogambo the year before she won Best Actress for The Country Girl. The rest won on their first nominations.

  • Film Fatale

    I love these “Wallis did no acting” posts — is that where we are going this year already, guys? She gives a towering performance, likely the best ever given by a child in history — and that is not hyperbole. She commands and carries every scene of Beasts — her sense of wonder, pride and loss are so finely etched on that tiny little face. To look at her interaction with Dwight in their final scene together, or the one on the lawn outside of the medical facility, and say that she did “no acting” is either willfully ignorant or the very definition of blinders. Hers is one hell of an emotional performance. I have met her on a press tour and she is not Hushpuppy. And of course Benh Zeitlin tapped into her natural energy — she was a frggin 6-year-old with no experience! Guys, think first please.

  • Craig Z

    Paul H, how can you have a final complete lineup with performances you haven’t seen? You are so full of shit your eyes are brown.

  • John

    Yeah, last year’s winner Meryl Streep is so fuckable. Jesus, what a stupid comment. Good thing Sasha made it b/c if a male reviewer were to write that, he would be vilified as a sexist pig.

    On another note…AMPAS is not going to nominate 2 foreign actresses in one year. When has that EVER happened? Oh right. Never. Also, all this love for these small films that barely anyone has seen? Let’s get real, most AMPAS members aren’t going to vote for these little movies, that’s what the Indie Spirit awards are for. One might sneak in (There usually is) and that one this year looks like Beasts. So that said: Jennifer Lawrence, Marion Cotillard or Riva, OK, Keira for Anna K, OK. Naomi Watts, OK. Q Wallis, Maybe.

    A more interesting race is the supporting categories. Could this be De Niro’s comeback year? And if Lawrence and DeNiro both win, that’s four acting wins for another David Russell film joining The Fighter. And this from a man whose temperament was recorded for You Tube infamy as a man…who yells at his actors. Love irony.

  • Craig Z

    “Also, all this love for these small films that barely anyone has seen?”

    You mean like Frozen River, Rabbit Hole, Blue Valentine, Transamerica, Maria Full of Grace, Wale Rider, The Savages….

    You should be more concerned with the ladies themselves instead of thinking of the lineups as being “too foreign” or “too indy”. Every year some unwritten rule or trend is broken at the Oscars.

  • John

    Craig, you just made my point…one or two sneak in a year, but this idea that there are going to be half a dozen or more in the same year? Doubtful. All those films you mentioned came out over a period of years.

  • Craig Z

    2010, 4 of the 5 best actress nominees grossed less than 20 million dollars domestically.

    Also of course nobody has seen a lot of the movies mentioned in Sasha’s article. They haven’t been released yet. That’s why they are at the festivals.

  • Mattoc

    Cotillard and Riva will both get nominated in my opinion. I have seen both these films and I seriously doubt (although I do hope) I will see better performances.

    Although not textbook fuckable, Riva does get her fun bags out in the movie.

  • K. Bowen

    Why not nominate Gerwig twice, for Damsels in Distress?

  • dinasztie

    I’m betting on Jennifer Lawrence. And she plays a woman with mental illness, right? It’s kind of deglam. 🙂 She has all the buzz, the critics and Harvey, she’s the biggest young star, I can’t see her losing this. 🙂

  • John

    2010? The year of Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side? Meryl Streep in Julia and Julia? Gabby Sidibe for Precious? All well over $20 million. Carey Mulligan for An Education was the indie breakthrough that year. The other nominee, Helen Mirren…not exactly an unknown. But I never said that $20 million was the barometer for success, that’s yours. I guess I should be more specific…I’m talking about these films that aren’t getting much play theatrically…limited release films that people fall in love with that barely register at the box office. Anything $10 million and over qualifies obviously as a film that people have seen. Hell, I’m rooting for “Bernie” to get some traction.

  • vv

    John: “On another note…AMPAS is not going to nominate 2 foreign actresses in one year. When has that EVER happened? Oh right. Never.”

    Supposing you mean two foreign-language performances in the same category (since AMPAS has nominated more than two foreign actresses in one year many times before), it happened in 1966, when Anouk Aimée and Ida Kaminska were both nominated for Best Actress. It’s also happened, arguably, in the Supporting Actress category, much more recently, when Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi were nominated for Babel.

  • Craig Z

    John, Clearly I was going by the year the films were released. (as most experienced Oscar watchers do) The year Portman won.

  • Craig Z

    John, as I said you don’t know how much these films will make at the box office since they are not in theaters yet.

  • Not Harrison Ford

    You know it has already been a great year for leading actresses. The aforementioned Quevhazne Wallis of course. But I also feel like Aubrey Plaza in Safety Not Guaranteed, Elizabeth Banks in People LIke Us and Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games all deserve consideration if the Academy had some more creativity and a longer attention span. I’d even throw in Kristen Connolly for Cabin in the Woods and Noomi Rapace from Prometheus as some of this year’s best performances. So it isn’t that there aren’t great leading performances this year, just not great Oscar bait ones.

  • Eoin Daly

    If/When Lawrence wins she will the be the third youngest actress winner. She has a two big box office success in the Hunger Games and X Men Prequels, House at the End of the Street could be a number one film and also Silver Linings Playbook could be a big box office/critical success because it has Lawrence/Cooper who are part of box office success. She was nominated before so the academy knows who she is, as Sasha said the older voters will like her. I just think with the mixed reactions other contenders are getting and the RAVES she is getting there is no stopping her.

  • amok

    @Film Fatal-You proved my point. She was six. She does not have the foggiest idea how to act and didn’t do anything that could reasonably be associated with acting. Did she learn lines? Did she adopt the mannerisms and mindset of another person? Did she self-consiously think through her reactions? No one onvolved in the film claimed that she did. You are confusing a director’s ability to coax a naturalistic reaction from an adorable kid with acting. I provided an iron clad example of the same thing occuring in a classic film. And I guarantee I can find other examples. The person you truly need to credit is the director who coaxed the reactions and got them on film. The fact that you are enamored of the kids natural reactions caught onscreen is irrelevant.
    And frankly, beyond the fact that there was no actual acting involved (yes a six year old kid thought through her responses and carefully orchestrated her performance), to nominate such a young child is grossly iresponsible. It all reeks of pandering and it’s laughable.

  • steve50

    “I’m enough of an Oscar nerd to know the answer to this without doing research.”

    Thanks for the clarification, @RobertA, I knew somebody would know so I didn’t bother to check.

    Still proves my point even more – 2 of the 8 previous winners 25 or under had prior noms, which Lawrence also has. 3 of the 8, (Hepburn, Kelly, Fontaine), became bona fide “stars” almost out of the blocks, which Lawrence did, as well. I think her chances couldn’t be better, despite her age, whichever category they put her in.

    Still waiting to see her (and, more so, Cotillard and Riva) before I pick a favorite, though.

  • Unlikely hood

    What happened to Ryan Adams rule that if you can’t drive yourself to the oscars, you’re going supporting? (I mean for wallis, not j-law.) unless you’re riding a whale. Does everyone think that the oscars have now realized that they category-frauded people like tatum o’neal and Haley Joel osment and now they’ll make up for it?

  • Robin

    @Great Dane

    “No young actress has won for a contemporary performance without deglamming or having physical transformation since Annie Hall 35 years ago.”

    What’s your point? That it can’t happen because it’s been a while? Don’t people make these sort of pronouncements every year? I call BS. When was the last time such a performance was in a position to win like this? And Lawrence plays a manic-depressive by all accounts, that’s far more “deglam” than what someone like Hunt did. Isn’t she a single mother in this too?

    “Hunt” had a huge career behind her on television AND she was in one of the Best Picture frontrunners”

    Lawrence has a huge movie franchise behind her, a past nomination AND her film will be one of the major BP players this season, mark my words.

    “especially since, as I said, her role is not the true lead of the film.”

    Yes, being borderline really bothered them when they awarded Fletcher, Matlin, McDormand, Kidman, Witherspoon, Winslet etc.. and Davis and Bening were SAG winners.

  • rufussondheim

    I don’t see how anyone could argue against Jennifer Lawrence being the frontrunner right now. With emphasis on the Right Now.

    Anyone who argues otherwise is just being contrary.

  • AragorninNYC

    Until a couple of days ago, I kinda left Viola Davis out from the Best Actress contenders. However, last two days I’ve seen her movie’s commercials on TV (in NYC) during day time and prime time multiple times, and in all commercials it was ONLY about her and the story. You could think that Maggie G. was not even in the movie. First of all, some people still think that she was the one who should have won last year (I diasagree), so she may get “sorry” vote. In the original previews, her name came even after Maggie, implying that they are co-leads, if not Viola is the supporting, but now it seems she is the one who gets the PUSH! Also, the story of her movie is very timely, especially after teacher strikes in Chicago. And with this kind of push (she was literally in every scene of those commercials) she could easily sneak into the race. All she needs is a decent box office. And if she gets in, she may easily win the whole thing with sympathy votes. Apparently she is giving a decent performance, not that you would expect anything less from her.

  • Alper

    Keira Knightley??? LOL come on guys this is very funny idea. yeah this is weak year but SHE CAN’T ACT.

  • Craig Z

    Alper, it didn’t stop her from being nominated the first time.

  • César

    “AMPAS is not going to nominate 2 foreign actresses in one year. When has that EVER happened? Oh right. Never.“

    Beside 1967 (Aimée & Kamińska) it also happened in 1977 – Marie-Christine Barrault & Liv Ullmann got nomiations for foreign films with Shire, Spacek and Winner Dunaway. The year before we’ve Adjani and Ann-Margret with swedish roots but an english language pic (Tommy).

  • steve50

    This whole “foreign” thing is ludicrous. English-speaking does not mean domestic, and a Brit, Aussie or Canadian are just as foreign as someone who speaks French, Hungarian, or Swedish.

    Is the issue language? Maybe the category should be “best English-speaking Actress in an American or British Production”? Unlikely as it is, if Cotillard gets a nom for TDKR, does that suddenly nullify her “foreign” status, whereas Bale and Hardy would keep their non-foreign labels unchallenged?

    The whole argument is ridiculous.

  • Lawrence J

    I LOVE JENNIFER LAWRENCE!! She is AWESOME in the Silver Linings Playbook and very good in Hunger Games. I’ve watched “Amour”, “Anna Kararina” and “Argo”. Then yesterday i went to see “Rust and Bone” because i (mostly) wanted to compare the two “most-talk-about” foreign movies in competition this year (Amour and R&B) and i was just blown away by Jacques Audiard movie! It’s simply the most visually stunning movie I’ve seen in years. The cinematography is just unbelievably beautiful! But the heart of the movie is Marion Cotillard. She is just breathtaking, i was so moved by her visceral, powerful performance that i must admit she is this year best actress for me. Jennifer Lawrence is crazy in The Silver Linings Playbook but she shouldn’t win compare to what Marion delivers. Don’t get me wrong she totally deserve a nomination but not to win, not this year. It is not her fault, but the real difference is that Lawrence doesn’t have the capacity to shine in The Silver Linings Playbook the way Marion did in “Rust & Bone”. Marion has chosen a dream role like in 2007 for “La vie en rose”

  • Russen

    It really irritates me when people say that Keira Knightley cannot act. She is a fucking actress, she acts! If thats the case, then J-Lawrence cannot act either cause she does the same slow emo grown up woman voice in almost everything she does, and does the same pouty renee zellwegger lips thing. Give me a break here.

  • Micheal

    You can also add, they already owe Lawrence an Oscar for Winter’s Bone

  • cinephile

    It’s such a fucking shame that Julianne Moore’s What Maisie Knew probably won’t premiere this awards season. It was picked up by Millenium in TIFF but according to they will probably release it next spring. Which is a shame, because it got very good reviews, this year’s best actress lineup is incredibly weak and Moore is incredibly overdue for an Oscar win (let alone for another nomination).

    Hell, if Game Change had got a theatrical release Moore would be the the frontrunner right now. Ugh.

  • Holly

    Kidman will get a nom somewhere, maybe the Florida Critics Circle Awards, and that’s about it. Paperboy is just too divisive and icky. But her tribute at NYFF really proves that she’s considered one of the finest actresses around.

  • John

    This is not a weak year for Leading Actresses. It’s just a completely open race, because there aren’t many big names/big productions which gives the chances to excellent foreign-language performances to be considered.

    In all honesty, I think that Jennifer Lawrence is definitely going to be nominated. Her work was fantastic. Vibrant, funny, emotional. She was a riot and she’s having a fantastic year.
    Emmanuelle Riva follows and could very well be our Oscar winner, if they consider Lawrence to be too young (Winslet redux). She’s 86 years old, a thespian and gives the performance of the year. It’s a bedridden role, but it’s one of the most shockingly realistic performances I’ve seen in my life. It’s excellent, moving work.
    Marion Cotillard delivers a beautifully realized and subtle performance in ‘Rust and Bone’ and I think she’s quite overdue for her second Oscar nomination after her Hollywood success since ‘La Vie en Rose’.

    And I think that the other two spots are open. Quvenzhane Wallis is a revelation in ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ and could very well pull a Keisha Castle-Hughes and gets the nomination. Naomi Watts is very good in a film that might bode very well with the Academy (it’s a tearjerker). Keira Knightley has the glamorous and dazzling leading part in Joe Wright’s ‘Anna Karenina’ and has received very strong notices, despite the film’s divisive reviews. Greta Gerwig’s film, if released this year, could be a surprising contender. Gerwig is probably the most raved American actress this year for her performance in ‘Frances Ha’ (Lawrence follows). And Meryl Streep could very well surprise with a filler nomination.
    I think these are our contenders.

    Winstead will (unfortunately) go unnoticed (though she will be nominated for the Independent Spirit Award and some critics awards). Sony will focus on Riva and Cotillard who, in all honesty, give groundbreaking performances, especially Riva.

    01. Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
    02. Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
    03. Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone
    04. Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
    05. Naomi Watts – The Impossible
    06. Keira Knightley – Anna Karenina
    07. Greta Gerwig – Frances Ha
    08. Meryl Streep – Hope Springs

    I think these are our main contenders.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    I also think that the winner will be either Lawrence or Riva. It all comes down to BP, I think. If Amour gets the nomination there, she wins IMO. That would show the support and she’s closer to Academy’s age demo anyway.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Well, usually the young one wins when there’s a young vs. old contest, but I can totally see:

    Winner of two Academy Awards
    -BEST ACTRESS (Emmanuelle Riva)

  • JJ Jones

    Jennifer Lawrence will win.

  • JJ Jones

    And please tell me this was a joke…

    10) Leslie Mann, This is Forty

    She is an awful actress and she will no doubt play the same annoying character she always plays. Maybe one day Judd Apatow will stop forcing his wife and kids into all his films.

  • rufussondheim

    An illuminating review of Won’t Back Down by Andrew O’Hehir.

  • steve50

    That’s a pretty damning article. Did Viola and Maggie read the script before signing on? Or did they not have a problem with it?

  • rufussondheim

    Having worked in the educational system, I can both be critical and defensive about it. But when I saw this trailer, I was pretty defensive. The movie just seemed to take the position “Public Schools Suck” and showed a bunch of lazy teachers and people wanting to keep the status quo.

    If there’s one thing I learned about education reform is that educators have better ideas than politicians.

  • steve50

    (from the article): “…the movie is unbelievable crap and the whole project was financed by conservative Christian billionaire Phil Anschutz..”

    Would that not have been a tip-off at the outset?

    And you’re right about educators have better ideas than politicians – that why about half of the politicians are afraid of them. From my perspective, those that can, do; those that can’t, teach. Those that can do neither, go into politics.

  • keifer

    My “feel” for 2013 Best Actress nominees:

    Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playboo (getting critical buzz + Hunger Games success really helps boost her visibility)

    Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone (to prove La Vie En Rose wasn’t a fluke + AMPAS loves disabled characters in film)

    Naomi Watts – The Impossible(AMPAS loves emotionally draining work and this looks like a heart tugger)

    Keira Knightley – Anna Karenina (classic role + a most deserving actress)

    Laura Linney – Hyde Park on Hudson (AMPAS really loves he – they’re just itching to give her an Oscar)

  • keifer

    I forgot to add that the actress I hope they reward is Maggie Smith for “Quartet”.

    Surprisingly, she hasn’t been nominated since “Gosford Park”.

    It would be great to see Dame Maggie win her third Oscar.

    She deserves it.

  • Ryan Adams

    God hates Christian billionaires. Or if He doesn’t, He should.

    Christian billionaires are an abomination. But there was no catchy word for billionaire in Old Testament days.

    The Hebrew term is camelthrueyeofneedle-aires. Hard for those King James guys to translate.

    Odds are Anschutz is a sodomizer too though, so then the whole money thing is moot.

  • Nik Grape

    If Riva wins for Best Actress, there will be justice after all. I’m just way too big of a cynic to even hope for a nomination because of all the younger competition.

  • Good lord, that O’Heir review is harsh. The trailers made it seem like a dopey sports movie that replaces “the big game” with…I dunno, literacy rates or something. But overt agendas are almost always painful to take in movies, even ones I agree with. And I certainly don’t dig a film that paints teachers as lazy and unconcerned.

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